The Jimmy Neutron cartoons concern a cluster of pre-teen friends, their bird-like school teacher, Jimmy's parents, and others. These cartoons are distinguished by their phenomenal visual details, on par with those in cartoons from PIXAR, especially, MONSTERS, INC. The Jimmy Neutron cartoons are also distinguished by their restraint, in that they rely on their own cleverness as a source of entertainment (and don't rely on chase scenes, or on making cute references to elements of pop-culture).
The Jimmy Neutron cartoons are for people of ten years old and up. The bizarre monsters, brains being taken out, and such, will be too scary for children of six and younger. Many of the Jimmy Neutron's statements about mathematics and molecular biology will only be comprehensible to people with a college education. The Jimmy Neutron series is remarkably savvy and strikingly imaginative. The characters of Jimmy's father and of Carl are an especial delight. The father is a nerd who is subserviant to his wife. Carl is a hypochondriac nerd. The characters of Nick and Sheen, and of the girls, are also well-developed.
OOZY SCAB. This starts out with Carl getting a wedgey in the classroom. Jimmy and Cindy work together on an oceanography project. Also, near the beginning, Sheen makes a moronic arithmetic calculation, where he is confused about 90,000 fathoms and 60,000 fathoms. (The character of Sheen is that of a boy who is likeable, but who is not really swift, as far as intelligence is concerned.) The quality of the ocean water, the undulating distortion of the underwater scenes, and the reflections on the windows of Jimmy Neutron's submarine, are first rate. Carl brings along his high-fat fish snacks, called FISH SNACK-UMS, in the submarine trip. Jimmy's sub contains a device that is used to communicate with fish, called, GILL-GAB. A problem arises when the team (Jimmy, Cindy, Carl, Sheen) are not able to communicate with a giant squid. Jimmy solves the problem by placing one of the FISH SNACK-UMS, which is a dried squid, into the GILL-GAB. Jimmy explains that the squid DNA in the snack will enable the translator to adjust its settings, so that it can facilitate communication with the giant squid. It works. The squid cooperates, and helps the team recover a treasure chest.
RETROLAND. Jimmy begins with a lengthy history report in school. The report concerns a pendulum that sways from a long, flexible string, that is used to knock over dominos and to discover that the earth rotates. Nick gives a history report next, which consists of a ghost story. Nick's is a Latino, possibly Puerto Rican. (New Yorkers are familiar with Puerto Ricans, and their penchant for Afro-Cuban salsa. But I digress.) Nick's character is mildly threatening, and he is attractive to girls. In another era in time, he would be shown smoking cigarets, but in this cartoon, he is frequently shown slurping a lollipop. Sheen comments briefly on Jimmy's boring history report, and he briefly stutters. This brief stuttering is part of Sheen's character of a friendly but not too swift schoolboy. When Nick gives his report, he asks that the lights in the classroom be switched off, and that another schoolboy highlight his face (from below) with a flashlight. The visuals for this part of the story are amazingly good. At a later point in this story, back at home, Jimmy's father refers to Jimmy as "The Jimster" and he refers to his wife as "Monkeypants." Anyway, Jimmy and his friends go to an amusement park at night in search of the ghost (the ghost that was in Nick's history report). Scary things happen at the amusement park. At one point, the kids are on a swinging boat ride, and Jimmy dislocates part of the ride, thereby allowing the ride to swing at various angles, just like the pendulum in his school report. This is a great element of the plot, namely, the pendulum motif in the classroom history report, and the pendulum motif in the amusement park. The end-result is that the swaying ride knocks over the ghost, enabling the kids to escape from the ghost.
HYPNO BIRTHDAY TO YOU. Sheen, Carl, and Jimmy are playing a board game called, LLAMA'S DAY OUT. Sheen accidentally swallows one of the dice, confusing it for one of the snacks. This is just one more illustration of the fact that Sheen's character is not very bright. The next day, at Jimmy's birthday party, we see a running llama and Carl running with the llama. At the party, there is a clown who blows balloon animals. Jimmy uses his HYPNO-COMMAND device, which he projects on his parents, to get 7 birthdays in a row (all in one week). Jimmy's goal in doing this is to get more chemistry sets. But with each birthday, the children get more and more tired of eating cake, and the clown runs out of party tricks. Also, the kids run out of presents and Carl gives Jimmy a brown paper bag containing some meat. A clever visual in the cartoon is the stain from the liquid from the meat on the bag. Eventually, the clown accidentally smashes the HYPNO-COMMAND and the spell is broken.
HALL MONSTER. This concerns the school hall monitor, and Jimmy's election by way of a lottery, to be the next hall monitor.
TRADING FACES. Carl asks Jimmy for help with his homework. But the character of Carl is even more dull-witted than the character of Sheen. Carl exclaims, "Triangles are the pointy ones, right?" Jimmy makes a mind-reading machine, but due to a lightning bolt during a fierce thunderstorm, Jimmy's mind gets exchanged for Cindy's mind. The two kids agree to act like each other, to prevent everybody else from suspecting that their minds had been switched. For example, Jimmy (in Cindy's body) remarks about his girlish clothing to Cindy's girlfriends. And Cindy (in Jimmy's body) makes boastful statements about how intelligent he is. But a clever nuance in this cartoon, is that in Jimmy's attempts to act like Cindy (when he is in Cindy's body) are not done perfectly, and Cindy's attempts to act like Jimmy, are also not done perfectly. These imperfections were an intended part of the storyline. Anyway, Jimmy complains that his pants (Cindy's pedal pushers) expose too much of his ankles. (That is the running joke of this particular cartoon.) And Cindy complains, that her teeth are "beaver teeth." Eventually, the children use a machine to reverse the minds again. The machine is like a typical videogame that uses a sorting device. Cindy and Jimmy are put in suspended animation, and their friends operate the sorting machine, and restore the children's minds to their original owners.
JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF CARL. Jimmy Neutron invents a square patch that you put on your skin, where the result is symptoms of an illness (but you are really not sick), enabling the child to stay away from school. "I want cholera," demands Cindy. Eventually, all the kids in the class get a sick patch from Neutron. But the plan backfires when all the parents decide to stay home with their kids. The parents provide bizarre home-remedies, or to do home schooling. "Let's do math. Uh, no. Too numbery," exclaims Jimmy's father. Jimmy's father in the Jimmy Neutron stories is a whimp. (He is not a buffoon, as the father in Homer Simpson. He is not a dictator, as in Leave It To Beaver. He is just a whimp.) Later, Jimmy's father does an amazing imitation of James Brown, the soul singer. This is followed by a journey by Jimmy and Sheen (they shrunk themselves) through Carl's body, in search of a germ for use as a vaccine to make all of the schoolchildren better. Eventually, they find the germ in Carl's stomach. It takes the form of a bacteriophage (biologists know that bacteriophages only infect bacteria, and cannot infect people, but they are the most interesting looking of all viruses). The plan works.
I DREAM OF JIMMY. This involves a visit into Carl's mind, where he encounters Carl's dream. We are treated to al kinds of bizarre non sequiturs, including llamas in the classroom. Llamas are a recurrent theme in these stories, as Carl likes llamas. "What is the square root of a flexnard," asks Cindy, who is a character in Carl's dream. This is an amazingly clever episode.
SUBSTITUTE CREATURE. This concerns show and tell of plants at the school. Jimmy's plant takes the form of a stapelia. A stapelia is an actual plant, found in dry climates, that is distinguished in giving off the odor of decaying meat, and attracting flies. In this cartoon, we are treated to prominently buzzing flies, and fly sounds.
BROADCAST BLUES. This concerns Jimmy's science education program.
PROFESSOR CALAMATOUS. This is about a robot with an English accent who kidnaps Jimmy's dog.